Evaluation Comments
Course:Data Structures in Java II

Quarter:Spring 14/15
Time: TuTh 11:50 - 13:20
Location: Loop Campus
James Riely PhD

Associate Professor
Instructor homepage

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Summary     1       2       3       4       5       6       

What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the instructor?

3.   Strengths: ability to present material visually. Another Computer Science class I was in, the instructor just showed powerpoints everyday and just read off them. I think visual learning is among the best ways to learn and I think being able to teach through drawing pictures is really great. It helps me tremendously.Weakness: This might just be the fact that I tend to be a slow learner and it takes me more time to process things, but I feel that the end of the class went by a little fast. I was still working on the last homework when we were assigned a new one.
4.   Knowledgeable, but fast paced.
5.   Strengths: Highly knowledgable, enthusiastic and interesting lectures, challenging assignments but very doable.Weaknesses: May expect a bit too much prior knowledge out of students.
6.   He seemed very passionate during class time.

What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?

2.   The fast pace and the knowledge given
3.   I know that in the job world, all the interview questions are related to data structures so everything about this course is beneficial to me.
4.   n/a
5.   The assignments ensured that I actually understood the implementation of each algorithm, rather than simply teaching an API.
6.   The coding assignments were the most beneficial.

What do you suggest to improve this course?

3.   Personally, I just do not like syllabuses that have exams weighted at 50%. Especially because there are students like myself who have test-anxiety and some people are just bad test takers. I would suggest that homework be weighted a little more than the exams. I also noticed that a lot of students messed up on the quizzes, including myself. I understand that having one quiz dropped does help a lot but sometimes I make minor mistakes on multiple quizzes that end up hurting me. Sometimes one little mistake ends up losing a lot of points on just one question that is worth a lot in regards to the whole quiz. I would suggest that maybe instead of having the lowest quiz dropped have two or so quizzes that students can re-take?
4.   n/a
5.   More incremental evaluation of assignments might encourage students to start their homework earlier (although it could also create more evaluation work).
6.   Make sure to fully describe what you expect the code to do on the homework. It can be a little confusing at times.

Comment on the grading procedures and exams

1.   Good
3.   I think the grading is entirely fair. I looked at my midterm and I understood why I got the grade that I did. There is nothing on the exams that we don't cover in class.
4.   n/a
5.   Class grades seem to be handed out as deserved. Exams are quite challenging but final grades are adjusted appropriately.
6.   Seemed fair.

Other comments?

2.   The new survey UI looks really bad.
3.   After taking other Computer Science classes, I have really come to appreciate Riely's teaching style. The way he explains the content through the demo powerpoint videos, and drawing on the board is amazing. There was one time when he came and substituted for Robin Burke in my Systems class it was great. I feel like I learned the most in that whole session. I use to be too intimidated by Riely's courses, but now I understand that it just takes a lot of hard work and dedication. There is no sympathy for slackers and I think that is completely fair. As long as students really work hard, are dedicated, and show that they really care about learning the course material they should do just fine in this course. I also feel that Riely goes above and beyond with helping students, I was waiting for an advising session and when my advisor didnt show up that day and Riely helped me out instead, I am still very appreciative! I would highly recommend taking one of his courses to my peers. The only people who have anything negative to say are probably the ones who don't even try and expect to get a good grade.
4.   n/a
5.   :D